17 February 2023


Westpac yesterday announced a so-called ‘moratorium’ on branch closures but limited that to just  eight branches: Tully; Gatton; Cloncurry; and Ingham in Qld. Denmark in WA. Robinvale and Sale in Vic. And Kingston SE in SA.

But the bank was trying to con its customers, the media and members of the Senate committee investigating bank branch closures.

So much for yesterday’s Westpac moratorium. Today Westpac will close its doors in four locations across regional Australia: Coober Pedy and Talem Bend in SA, Port Douglas in Qld and Horsham, Victoria.

And by June, another 9 branches in regional Australia will close: Cairns; Kin Kora; Townsville in Qld. Carnamah in WA. Hay; and Moree in NSW. Shepparton and Waurn Ponds in Victoria. And Katherine in the NT.

Most of these closures were announced late last year but Westpac has conveniently forgotten those branches and the customers who rely on them in this fake moratorium.

Finance Sector Union National Secretary Julia Angrisano said Westpac only cared about profits and was intent on putting its greed before its obligation to provide banking services to the community.

“This Westpac moratorium is a fabrication and an attempt to deceive the community that it still cares about customers.”

“If Westpac was serious about pausing its branch closures it would have included all 42 metropolitan and regional branches around Australia, which the bank has announced will either close, or co-locate with another bank branch, between now and June.”

“It really is offensive. Westpac is raking in billions of dollars in profits but it will leave thousands of customers in the regions without professional banking support from our members at a time when rising interest rates and cost of living pressures are hammering family budgets.”

“For these major regional centres, it is so important that we have bank branches open to help people who have been through flood, bushfires and a pandemic before being hit by high inflation and rising interest rates.”

“I challenge Westpac’s chief executive Peter King to extend his moratorium on branch closures to all 42 banks in metro and regional Australia.”

“And I promise Mr King that we will be laying bare the full story of how Westpac treats its staff and customers in our submission to the Senate Inquiry.”

Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079

Authorised by Julia Angrisano, National Secretary